Some years after Alice In Wonderland, Alice is a successful sea captain and Tim Burton is no more. After being robbed of her ship and wealth, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) returns to Wonderland via mirror, only to discover the Mad Hatter (Johnny Debt) has gone from casually potty to genuinely unwell, presumably making some people reconsider their nickname for him. She seeks out Time (Sacha Baron Cohen) to go back and save the Hatter’s family, and re-establish quality millinery for all of Wonderland.
Time is an ironic subject for a sequel released some six years after the lukewarmly-received original which benefited more from the goodwill surrounding 3D cinema after Avatar than any great revelations in storytelling. While Alice in Wonderland was a sort-of sequel, featuring a mature Alice retracing the steps of her original adventure, it’s unclear if the events of Alice Through the Looking Glass are a similar acid flashback or a genuine sequel in uncharted territory.
Alice lands in Wonderland where the supporting characters from the first film are waiting for her to arrive. She then runs into Depp’s Hatter and Cohen’s Time, who compete for the title of least funny comedy accent. Following an extended sequence in Time’s fortress, complete with a sidekick that sounds like Alexander Meerkat and plenty of iffy bluescreen work, Alice jets back in time to avert hatastrophe in a plot which can’t be described as entirely sensical.
It’s arguably better than the original in the action/adventure stakes. While it doesn’t make much sense, it does seem like the events are of more consequence than they were. But ultimately this mildly diverting mumbo-jumbo is more of the same. Neither better or worse for the absence of Burton, Alice Through the Looking Glass continues in the same vein of loud CGI and hammed-up Deppery as its 2010 predecessor. As such it will please fans of that film, if any exist, but fails to ignite new passions.